Category Archives for "Coach Nancy"

Chicken (or Turkey) Pot Pie

Our family made a turkey this week. I love turkey for several reasons. One is because a turkey in the over makes the house smell so fantastic. Second, it always remind me of Thanksgiving and being grateful for family and friends. Finally the leftovers, leftovers give me peace of mind knowing my meal is ready for me when I want to eat and I already know it tastes good to have a second time. This week I used some of our leftover turkey to make a Pot Pie. Turkey pot pie is an entire meal in and of itself. To me a one dish meal is just another reason to make a turkey. 

Turkey (or Chicken) Pot Pie

  • 5 tbsp. ghee
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 large stalks of celery, chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 2½ cups butternut squash cubes
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth 
  • 5 cups leftover shredded turkey or chicken
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp. ground turmeric
  • ½ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • Pinch of sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt 2 tablespoons ghee in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, garlic, and carrots and stir. Cook for a few minutes then add the squash. Stir and continue to cook for 8-10 minutes.

Stir in the broth and turkey. After a minute or two, add the sea salt, pepper, turmeric and parsley. Next, add the coconut milk and green beans, and stir well. Cook 5-7 more minutes and if mixture seems like it needs more liquid, add a bit more broth. Combine almond flour, 3 tbsp. melted ghee and pinch of sea salt in a small bowl using a fork.

Remove the chicken and vegetable mixture from heat and pour mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle almond flour topping evenly over the top and place in oven, uncovered. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Enjoy Good Food,

Coach Nancy

Food Journaling is Like The Worst Cleaning Job Ever

I've been talking to a lot of people about food journaling. While I dislike food journaling as much as I dislike cleaning out the drainage bin under my fridge there are some compelling reasons to do it. Actually there are great benefits to cleaning out the catch all bin under my fridge as well as food journaling. 

A while back we had company and they had a toddler. Wouldn't you know one of their toys rolled under my fridge. I actually thought I'd rather hear the horrified screaming of the toddler thinking they'd never see their toy again than rolling my fridge back at that moment. I couldn't remember the last time I had cleaned under there. It wasn't pretty. Dust balls and dog hair in abundance and I am not sure what some of that other stuff was. I was embarrassed I had let it go that long. Of course I had reasons and excuses and my friends said they were just like me. But it wasn't okay. That mess under my fridge taught me to keep things under control. I needed to expect someone checking up on me to hold me accountable to my cleaning routine. The same holds true of my eating. Food journaling can remind me to stay accountable to my plan. By logging food for just a few days or a week I can see where things have crept in and where the dirt is. Food journaling keeps me accountable to what I expect from myself.

- Food Journaling -

  •  If you know that you are going to have to write down and document everything that you put in your mouth, do you think you might think twice about eating 8 chocolate chip cookies along with a diet coke? It's kind of like allowing someone else to see under your fridge.  

Accountability will help keep you on track with your food choices.

At the same time food journaling brings awareness. Moving my fridge that day and every time since brings awareness. I see what I have let happen over time but it also reminds me to keep things from getting that dirty in the first place. Food journaling does the same thing. Knowing I have to write something down or snapping a picture of my food keeps me aware to make a great choice instead of just eating. 

  • If you know you are going to write down what you will eat at lunch, it will help to steer you towards a colorful salad instead of a hamburger and fries. 

Awareness will help keep you on track with your food choices. 

Next time you are in my house, please don't expect perfection under my fridge, I am only human. The accountability and awareness has created a happier and more efficient fridge and fridge owner. Surprise surprise, food journaling can help to increase your weight loss. A 2008 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine showed that keeping a "food diary" may double your weight loss efforts. This was based off of a group of over 1,600 people. Those who tracked their food choices lost almost 10 more pounds following the same advice as the control group. 

Next time you see your fridge, don't just see all the food contained inside those doors, Remember to look under your fridge and see the benefits of keeping it clean. Then grab your pen and paper to journal your food choices. 

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Spotlight on Crystal- The Knee Grab Ab Queen

I must confess Crystal makes me mad. Not mad in an angry kind of way but mad in a way that urges me to work harder. I wish I could be Crystal when Knee Grab Abs are on the board. She makes me want to be better. That is one thing I love about Cr8 Fitness. We all have strengths that spur others into action.  Crystal strength is in more than just her physical fitness. It is seen in her determination. She has put a goal in place and has been making it happen. It's not always easy or simple. It takes hard work and an inward drive to achieve a goal. Listen in as Crystal shares her story.

High Fives to Crystal. She is 'Making It Happen'. She is also inspiring others to work hard at their goal. Family is important at Cr8 Fitness. Joking, laughing, encouraging, pushing, and helping others to be the best is part of what we do. 

Thank you Crystal for taking time to share your story,

Coach Nancy

4 Fresh from the Tree, Peach Recipes

Peaches eaten right from the tree with the juice dripping down to your elbow reminds me of being a kid again. My Dad has always grown peaches and having a peach as an adult reminds me of all the peaches I ate right from our trees as a kid. It's just what you do in late summer. When Chris brought in a box of peaches picked right from her tree, I couldn't wait to enjoy one and then another. This morning I got carried away and I made 4 different peach recipes for breakfast. My girls throughly enjoyed having mom serve them breakfast. 

Summertime Peach Protein Shake

  • 2 peaches, sliced in half, pit removed
  • 1 scoop Beverly International UMP Graham Cracker flavor (I think I'll try Angel Food Cake tomorrow)
  • 8 ounces water
  • dash of nutmeg
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Ice

Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Mix until smooth and enjoy.

Breakfast Peach Crisp (I am sure this would taste good anytime of the day)

        For the filling:

  • slice peaches 
  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • tiny sprinkle of nutmeg

        For the crumble topping

  • 1/4 cup oatmeal
  • 2 teaspoon almond flour
  • 1 Tablespoon of walnuts
  • dash of salt
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil

To make the filling slice enough peaches to fill a custard cup. I used just over 1 peach in each cup. Divide the rest of the ingredients between 2 custard cups and sprinkle over peaches. 

In a separate bowl mix all the crumble topping ingredients together. It will be clumpy. Divide it between the two bowls. Be careful your bowls will be very full. Place both bowls in the microwave and cook on high for 4 1/2 minutes. If you prefer to bake in your oven, preheat to 350 degrees and then bake for 30 minutes. Be careful when you take these out, they are hot. 

Peaches with a Protein Punch

  • sliced peaches
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop Beverly International vanilla yogurt
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

Fill a ramekin with your sliced peaches. No need to peal the peaches. In a separate bowl mix the yogurt and protein powder together. Top peaches with this mixture. Sprinkle with cinnamon. This can also be made in a small mason jar and stored in the fridge to be eaten later or brought to work.


A Peachy Dessert (or a Breakfast treat)

  • Peaches cut in half, pit removed
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil

Heat a grill to medium high heat. Wipe the grates on the grill with olive oil. Lay the peaches cut side down on the grill. In about 4 minutes check them to see if they are warmed and contain grill marks. Remove from the grill. Lightly sprinkle with balsamic vinegar. You won't need much to offset the sweetness of the peaches. 


I won't tell a sole if you eat these for breakfast alongside an omelet. 

Enjoy Good Food,

Coach Nancy

When Everything is Turned UpSide Down

Ok, maybe it’s not quite that bad, but I felt like life was turned upside down today, just a little bit anyway.

You see the unthinkable happened today. The weather was supposed to be warm and sunny and I woke up to rain. 

Now lest you think I am a bit off my rocker and starting to whine. Remember the last time, you hit a bump in the road that threw you for a loop, was it really the end of the world? Did you manage to work your way around it? 

But still, since this post is all about me, let’s get back to it.

This might come as a news flash, but I like routine. Don’t upset the apple cart. Keep my ducks in a row.

So when I came downstairs this morning and saw rain it set my mind into overdrive, trying to figure out how I was going to rearrange my entire day.

How was I going to function in all this dreariness? How was I going to get my outside work done? I was now going to have to go back upstairs to change from shorts and a t-shirt to pants and a long sleeve sweatshirt. 

Now THAT is high drama!

Of course in reality it wasn’t really that bad at all.

Take a deep breath, one thing at a time, double check the weather, and after a small amount of whining to Coach Dean, bam it was over. The whole episode got me to thinking what fickle, fragile creatures we humans can be.

We talk ourselves really quickly into imagining all the worst things that can possibly happen.

Why do we do that? (That is a rhetorical question :))

So here’s the take home:

We are going to have curveballs thrown at us – a lot of them.

How we react makes all the difference.

We have the choice whether or not to let the sick kid, or sick dog, or bad weather propel us into a downward spiral.

We missed a couple days training, so there’s no point to going back until next week, right?

Or someone has to eat that BOX of girl scout cookies to get it out of the house, right?

Or my boss was being a (fill in the blank), so eating this pint of Haagen-Daaz will show HIM who is really boss, right?

I think it was Emerson who said:

“Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.”

This works both ways.

We can dwell on the negative or focus on the positive.

Both lead us down different paths, different destinations, even different destiny’s.

Where is your mind going to lead you today?

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

(By the way the sun did come out so why oh why did I waste time complaining and allowing it to get me down?)

Give Up This Bad Habit

In the past I used “bad” language when describing some food choices.

No, I didn’t swear about it.

Language as in – “x is a good food” and “y is a bad food”.

In reality food does not have morals, it is not “good” or “bad”.

And what I learned is it really is not helpful to me personally or people I talk nutrition with to think of it that way.

You know it’s true. Calling something  a “bad food” usually just makes us want more of it. In reality there is no single food that we eat (or don’t eat) that by itself is going to make us gain or lose weight. It’s the decision made over and over again that lead to one of those results, and studies have shown over and over that when we do eat what is “forbidden” we eat more of it than if we think of it like we do any other food.

I admit it took me a long time to get comfortable with this. But now it is actually easier to make good choices, because I am not constantly thinking about food and what I do or don’t get to eat.

Now you know that I am not saying that all food is equal. Making a decision to eat a bunch of junk all the time is not going to help you lose fat, get lean and look and feel better.

What I am saying is I needed to change my mind about how I thought about food, so I didn’t obsess and stress about it all the time.

Would that help you too?

Coach Nancy

You Gotta Try Grilled Watermelon!

I had my doubts. I mean come on making the best summer fruit HOT? I just couldn't wrap my head around grilling watermelon. I had to try it. Like any other fruit once it is heated it changes the flavor. I remember my first time before tasting grilled pineapple I just wasn't quite sure what to expect. Crazy thing is, not knowing what to expect left me open to deliciousness. I'm going to enjoy watermelon cold and I will enjoy it hot off the grill too. Here's what you need to do.

Grilled Watermelon

  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil1 
  • small watermelon, cut into 1" thick wedges
  • Freshly torn mint leaves, for serving
  • Flaky sea salt, for serving


  1. Heat grill or grill pan to medium heat. In a medium bowl, whisk together lime juice, zest and olive oil.
  2. Brush lime juice mixture all over watermelon wedges and place on grill. Cook until grill marks form and fruit softens slightly, about 2 minutes per side.
  3. Sprinkle with mint and flaky sea salt and serve. 

You can take my word for it or not. Either way, just make some grilled watermelon.

Let me know what you think,

Coach Nancy

Want to Gain Weight? Do This.

To gain weight fast: Eat as much and as fast as you can.

To lose weight, try the Opposite: Eat slowly and deliberately without distractions.

Quickly devour everything and gain weight. 

Our “satiety mechanisms” kick in about 20 minutes after we start eating a meal. No matter how much we eat during the first 20 minutes, our bodies don't feel satisfied or even full until we hit the magical satiety time.

That’s why many people overeat: they eat too much during the first 20 minutes, thinking they’re not full. Then, 20 minutes later, they feel “overfull” and guilty.

Why not do the Opposite?

Slow down. Enjoy your food. Stay "checked in". Nibble for the first 20 minutes of your meal until your satiety mechanism kicks in.

You’ll feel more physically and mentally satisfied with less food. Your stomach will thank you. And your waist line will reward you. 

Eating slowly can improve our digestion. Calm us down. And help us feel more satisfied with less food.

Which means we lose weight while enjoying life more. Win. Win! I find this is a battle not easily won in one meal. I need to work at it. If you're like me and need a bit more help, sign up for our Fall Fat Loss Challenge.

You chose. Eat Fast- helps you to gain weight OR Eat Slowly and see what happens.

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

A Glorious Chicken Salad for Summer

Summer is such a great time to enjoy a meal served cold. This meal travels great so enjoy it for your lunch break or bring it in your cooler to the beach. It's refreshing and feels light. Cantaloupe are in season and that makes it the perfect time to make this dish. 

Chicken Salad with Cucumber and Melon

  • 6-8 ounces Cooked chicken, chopped (your portion size)
  • ½ cup of diced cantaloupe or honeydew melon
  • ½ cup finely chopped cucumber
  • ½ cup finely chopped tomato
  • 2 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoon orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons light olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon cilantro
  • pinch of pepper

Combine lime juice, orange juice, olive oil, cilantro and pepper in a jar. Shake to combine. Mix everything else into a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and toss ingredients to coat everything.

This is fantastic, but don't rely on me. I invite you to make this yourself and then tell me what you think!

Enjoy good food,

Coach Nancy

Take a Chill Pill

Recovery week is almost here. September 2- September 6 is a scheduled time off from your training at the gym. Most of us take planned vacations from work where your mind can take a break from the routine of all that you do each day at work. We look forward to them, enjoy them, and feel better when we do get back to work. It's refreshing. The same is true for your physical training at Cr8 Fitness. 

If you've been with us for a length of time, your body is giving you a few signals that you are ready for a time away. If this is your first time taking a recovery week here are 5 reasons why it is important. 

C- Confidence. Physical training and the health it brings is what Dean and I specialize in. The trust you place in us continually inspires us to be the best and do the best for you. We design in hour in the gym as part of our plan through the week, the month, and the year. Through the whole process we work at keeping the confidence you placed in us. Check out this great article written by Coach Dean covering the ins and out of "Why Recovery Weeks?"

H- Health, your health is our primary concern. Each day as you give your all it takes a toll. Remember you train like athletes because life is an event you want to do very well. Every sport has its season and it's off season. Even during a sport season there are weeks off or longer breaks in between games. It's on purpose to keep you training longer and staying healthy for it all. Same goes for you and your training at Cr8 Fitness.

I- Injury prevention. If you are hurt you can't train. (or at least you can't train as hard as you want) Ignoring those little aches and over tired body muscles can be a precursor to injury. 

L- Longevity. Dying is just not on my To Do list- EVER. I'm not in control of all that is going to happen to me and you aren't either. Yet, we can choose to live the best life possible. You've chosen to have a coach(es). Trust us when we say you need a week just to do something a bit different. 

L- Love yourself. Be good to yourself during this week. It might mean extra sleep, or chilling with a friend, or kicking your feet up to read a book or starting to create a better eating routine. If you haven't signed up for the Fall Fat Loss Challenge, you should do that now. You will love how it makes me you feel. 

What are some good things to do while on recovery?

P- Prepare. "Before anything else, Preparation is the key to success." - Alexander Bell, He's a pretty smart guy. Think of how good you'll feel and how much less stress you'll create for yourself if you have your meals planned and prepared for the week. What about a meal ready to go in the freezer for those crazy days you will encounter? How about making your shopping list so your grocery trip is easier? Spend some time checking out some ways we can help you with that too, right here

I- Be Idle. Give yourself permission to do nothing. Seriously when is the last time you could just sit and do whatever came to mind for an hour. My days are filled with rush rush, so this is a true gift. Better yet spend that hour with your spouse, a friend, or someone who needs encouragement. Win/win for both of you. 

L- Lighten your work load. Take the hour you would have trained to tackle that nagging item off your To Do list. Cleaning out a closet is one of my favorite ways to feel like I've completed a monumental task. It takes time but I love the organization it gives me. I often have items to donate or give away. And I often find a treasure I had forgotten about. All wins

L- Leisure. That's a fancy word for do what makes you feel good. Hiking, biking, kayaking, paddle boarding, walking, shopping, whale watching, camping, or any other leisurely activity that brings out those happy feelings. Remember the world needs a lot more happy. 

Take it from me- Take a Chill Pill this recovery week. (September 2 - 6) We'll be back at training on September 9th. 

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

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